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Comic Books 101: The History, Methods and Madness [Paperback]

By Chris Ryall (Author) & Scott Tipton (Author)
Our Price $ 19.54  
Retail Value $ 22.99  
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Item Number 340893  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.9" Width: 7.9" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   1.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2009
Publisher   Impact
ISBN  1600611877  
EAN  9781600611872  
UPC  035313645570  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
60+ years of comic book exploits - on the page and behind the scenes.

Welcome to "Comic Books 101," the complete, definitive and super-cool guide to the universe of caped crusaders, irradiated spiders, fantastic foursomes and the super-talents behind their creation.

Want to know when Marvel, DC and so many other publishers got their start? Wonder why Spider-Man can't challenge Batman or why the Justice League? Curious why the Avengers don't battle it out once and for all? It's all covered here: the good, the bad guys and the ugly truths - like why one of Batman's originators died virtually unknown and penniless.

Whether you're an absolute newbie, a casual fan or a loyal collector, this book holds the answers. "Comic Books 101" will increase your knowledge and enjoyment of this great art form, and grant you the superpower of impressing others with useless yet fascinating trivia (Which superhero dated a mermaid? Who battled the evil "Egghead," portrayed by what famous actor?)

    Includes an introduction by Stan "The Man" Lee, plus contributions from Clive Barker, Harlan Ellison, Gene Simmons, Mark Waid, Paul Dini, Joe Hill, Marv Wolfman, Joe Casey and many others.
    Reveals backstories for Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, the Justice League of America, Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, The Mighty Thor, Iron Man, The Avengers, the X-Men ? and other comic book greats.
    Offers an all-inclusive overview of comics, then and now - from the Sub-Mariner to Bone, from origins to Hollywood adaptations ? complete with lingo, required reading lists, bios of the most influential names in the industry and much more

Buy Comic Books 101: The History, Methods and Madness by Chris Ryall & Scott Tipton from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781600611872 & 1600611877 upc: 035313645570

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More About Chris Ryall & Scott Tipton

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Chris Ryall is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of IDW, a San Diego-based comic-book publisher. He's written dozens of comics and was nominated for the Eisner Award for Best Short Story in 2006. He writes a weekly column for and is the former Editor-in-Chief and Chief Content Provider/Webmaster for filmmaker Kevin Smith's pop culture site,
Scott Tipton, founder and Editor-in-Chief of, writes the weekly column of the same name, the most highly trafficked. He has written for, and has written stories for #2 and #3 of "Doomed," and is author of the graphic novels "Spike: Old Wounds," "Spike: Lost And Found," and "Angel Spotlight: Wesley."

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > General   [15194  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels > General   [15538  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Gifting 101  Jan 9, 2010
I purchased this as a gift for one of my sons---he was thrilled with it !! Way to go, this site !
Fun even if you aren't a major comic fan.  Jul 21, 2009
I bought a copy of this book for a teenage friend who is becoming a VERY good comic artist. I figured it would help her to have a definitive history of the field. I read through most of the book before wrapping it (one benefit of giving books as gifts--nobody knows you sampled the goods!) and truthfully, I sort of wish I wasn't giving the book away. Not because it isn't good, but because it is SO good.

I'm not a big comics fan. I like them, but I don't get excited about 'em. However, this book is just loads of fun even for someone who reads comic strips in a casual way. I really enjoyed the history of the Superman comic, such as learning how his parents' first names changed over time, or his gradual acquisition of various superpowers. I never followed Wonder Woman (sorry, fans!), so I liked the overview of her backstory. I chuckled at the bio of Stan Lee and what he accomplished. And I loved looking at all the photos of comic book covers, especially since I remember how much trouble my brother got for owning some of these in the 50s. ("They'll rot your brain!" my parents declared.)

As a result, I'm likely to buy another copy of this book to give as a holiday gift. Maybe a few.
Good solid book.  Jun 22, 2009
What a good book. On the way from the mailbox, I flipped through it and found a whole bunch of "No kidding, I didn't know that" factoids, and I have been reading comics for 35 years now. Written by fans, but in no means fannish, this is a book that the old jaded collector and the non comic reader will enjoy.
A Primer for the Curious, a Fun Read for the Fan  Jun 7, 2009
Scott Tipton and Chris Ryall, two fans who ended up working in the industry (like so many other comic writers and artists) have teamed up to bring us the non-definitive work on one of America's great contributions to world culture, the comic book.

Intended more as a primer than anything else, Comic Books 101 takes us through an overview of the history of the industry, walks us through the typical artistic comic book production process, and gives us a solid, if occasionally too brief, background on the major characters, authors, and players of the past 60 years. Yes, there are Marvel and DC, Spiderman, Iron Man, Superman and Batman, the JLA and the Avengers, Jack Kirby, George Perez, Alan Moore, and a whole bunch of other historical bits.

Tipton and Ryall tend to keep things light and not overly pedantic, not being afraid to share opinions and personal recollections via sidebars or in-text mentions (when discussing the state of DC's hero Green Lantern, they end the chapter by stating things are "in our humble it should be."). This chattiness is both the weakness and the strength of the book. On one hand, the personal nature of the essays detracts from a more objective overview of certain subjects and might put off the hardcore fan wanting to know more about the Blackhawks or Nick Fury.* On the other hand, the writing style is perfect for engaging the casual fan or the true neophyte. Throughout Comics 101, the overall tone lets the reader know that these are two guys who truly love comics, and want to share that love with the rest of the world.

A particularly moving moment comes in the profile of a Marvel editor named Mark Gruenwald, responsible for much of Marvel's late 80s-early 90's success: rather than just giving us a capsule review of his importance, Tipton gives us a personal essay about Gruenwald, of how they met, and the importance he had not only within the industry, but in nurturing fans. Tipton's testimonial gives us a brief portrait of a man who knew how important the reader is to the medium, and it results in a meaningful, moving essay.

In addition to providing a safe, undaunting haven for the curious, Ryall and Tipton outdo themselves by providing a list of recommended reading--from graphic novels to deeper histories of comics in general. They break it down by character, company, and creator, and it's possibly the most valuable resource one could have for diving into the morass of comicdom, with its 60-plus year history and ever-changing emphases.

In many ways, this work, while not definitive, is definitely the best starting point I've ever been fortunate to read. The authors make the convoluted world of comics incredibly accessible, and for that, I salute them.

Comic Books 101 is highly recommended.

*Slight Disclaimer--I'm a long-time reader and (very)occasionally correspond with both authors via Tipton's site, and he's covered both the Blackhawks and Nick Fury in much greater depth in his weekly column.
Comic Fan Nirvana  May 28, 2009
I've been a fan of the Comics101 website for a long time. Been a comic fan even longer, going back to the early 70's when I was just learning to read. Scott and Chris are my people. When it comes to a comic book trivia throw down, unless your name is Mark Waid, I think I have a chance. Got Comics101 the book in the mail yesterday and read through it last night. Great book. They did recycle some of the old posts, but expanded them with new info and more history. Learned some stuff I didn't know. Good looking book, lots of classic panels and covers, plus some original art. Touched on some of the more contentious issues in Comic Book history without taking sides. If you love comics, you should take a look.

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